Thermaltake Overseer RX-I Chassis ReviewBluePanda - February 12, 2012
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Taking off the side panels to get a good look at the innards wasn’t very difficult. The panels slide on and off like an old-school chassis and aren’t hard to put back into place. The Overseer looks like your typical case on the inside. It has three external drive bays with blue accented toggle clips and five HDD bays that support mounting both full HDDs and the smaller SSDs. The back side doesn’t appear to have much room for cable work, but the side panel itself does protrude about ¼ to ½ an inch to support some of the messier cable jobs.
Like I mentioned before, the back end of the case comes stock with a 120 mm fan set up for exhaust. The opening in the motherboard tray is nice and large, making it perfect for mounting those troublesome backplates some of the CPU coolers come with today. You can see there is room for seven PCI-E slots. Most people cannot take full advantage of these, but you will be able to run your Crossfire or tri-SLI setup with ease. There are also five rubber grommet holes for cable routing so there’s no need to have a mess of cables showing.
Speaking of cables and cable mess, the pre-wired front I/O panel of the chassis requires quite a few cable connections during installation. If you plan on using that hot-swap bay, remember to plug in both the SATA cable as well as the molex power connector; otherwise you’ll be in for a sad surprise when you go to use it the first time. All the cables are well labeled so if you know where you need to plug them in you shouldn’t have any issues getting that front panel to work on the first shot.
The drive mount clips are accented with the same blue color as the accents of the front of the case. These clips work much like the majority of the newer ones with a couple pins to hold in the drive and a simple pull on the blue tab to release the drive. It's nothing too complicated and should even work with those crazy half bay designs you might need to mount.
On the other hand, the HDD bay slots are sort of a step backwards in time and technology if you ask me. The bays remove easily like in most cases, but rather than a simple flex of the plastic to insert your drive onto the four grommet-mounted pegs, you have to pull out a screwdriver and drive in some screws. I couldn’t believe it. Not only do you need to put screws in to mount your hard drives, but they are awkward screws that aren’t exactly standard size. With an unusually large head to the screw, you won’t want to misplace the extras for when you upgrade. Your SSDs will mount the same as any drive bay these days, with the simple four screws through the bottom of the mount. No problem with the SSDs, but I can’t get over the fact that I’m actually screwing my HDDs in place – even my old junker case has clip-on drive rails…
Moving away from the upset, let's take a look at that top hot-swap bay for your full 3.5" hard drives and even your 2.5” SSDs. Personally I wasn’t a big fan of these slots, but having recently used them to do quick transfers of large files and pull information off old drives, this dock has become my new favorite feature. There’s nothing better than getting full drive speeds at your fingertips, and there's no need to go dig through a mess of cables to do so. I love it!
As for this specific chassis, there is a hole cut out for your SSD, and then a spring-loaded door that flips down to accept your full sized drives. It doesn’t look too bad and it works great. Just remember to hook it up to your motherboard and power it with a molex, and you will have this great feature available any time you need it.
One thing I found a little frustrating while moving this case around for pictures and from my table to my office was a little issue with the front panel. The front panel completely detaches for the purpose of removing the bay covers. The I/O panel wires aren’t connected to it either, so you can just pull the whole thing away – however, since you can grab it from the bottom to pull it off, it isn’t too surprising that it might want to come off if you try to carry it from this bottom edge. Be forewarned, it is best not to carry it from this edge. I didn’t manage to drop it, but the panel did not want to stay on very long. If you want to carry it around, pull off the front, put the case where you want it, and place the front panel back on.
The top portion of the case comes off almost as easily, but you likely won’t be carrying it from the top. The ability to remove the panels makes for an easy way to clean dust from those large fans as well as rinse any particles off the panels. The quick access is greatly appreciated, but the poor execution made transporting this case rather unpleasant.
Next, I flipped the case over for a different perspective. You always look at the case upright but you tend to forget what's underneath. The Overseer has four enormous feet on it. They are about 1" to 1.5" in height and have non-slip padding on the bottom that makes them sit quietly on hardwood floors or up and over your carpet. Back to that dust, just think how much tends to build up underneath your case and inside your PSU, especially if you have pets. Fortunately Thermaltake thought of this when they put this case together. A nice hidden fan filter slides right out of the bottom and makes for a quick clean of the case for better air flow. This is a very nice touch to the chassis as a whole.
Here is the usual photo of some screws, zip ties, manual, and random cables that come with the chassis. I always find this collection a bit odd to try to describe and even a little funny to look at in a review. It is pretty useful if you want to know if it comes with an 8-pin extender or not, but otherwise, screws anyone? Anyway…Thermaltake takes care of you here. They include an 8-pin/4-pin extender. You can plug in either an 8-pin or a 4-pin mobo connector to extend to your case. The 8-pin gets you about nine extra inches, and the 4-pin gets you about 17-18 extra inches in length. I didn't need the extra length but if you have a short PSU connector, you have no worries here. Two 3-pin to molex fan connectors are included for whatever your needs may be. For me it was easier to connect a couple of the built-in fans this way. It's a nice option to have rather than digging through the components you have, or ordering them after your case shows up. Kudos to Thermaltake for this one!
With my build all together, this chassis looks pretty nice. There wasn't much pain in putting it together either. All my cables reached where they needed to, and aside from those HDDs, there wasn't any extra difficulty with installation. It's a nice chassis to work in, and I'm very happy with the overall build.
After powering it up and taking a look at those LED fans, this case is quite the looker. Not only is she a beauty, but she's incredibly quiet too! I still cannot get over how quietly this case runs. Sometimes I have to check and make sure it's still on even when it's sitting right next to me. I love the blue, but what can I say, I am BluePanda after all…